Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
A woman’s breasts may droop as a result of the natural effects of aging, heredity, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss. A breast lift, also called a mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged or lost volume and firmness.
Breast lifts rejuvenate the breasts by trimming excess skin and tightening supporting tissues to achieve an uplifted, youthful contour. After a mastopexy, the breasts are higher on the chest and firmer to the touch. Breast lifts can also reposition and reduce the size of the areola-the dark skin surrounding the nipple – which may have stretched or drooped.
Mastopexy is usually performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and lasts from 1 to 3 hours. Most patients are immediately satisfied with their new breasts and can typically return to work one to two weeks following the procedure.
Large breasts can negatively impact a woman both physically and emotionally, causing symptoms such as chronic back pain, rashes, poor posture, low self-esteem and restricted activity. Many women seek treatment to reduce the painful effects of their large breasts, while also improving their self-confidence and overall quality of life. Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction surgery reduces the size of large, disproportionate breasts by removing excess fat, tissue and skin for a more desirable appearance and relief of physical and emotional symptoms.
During the breast reduction procedure, the surgeon makes either two circular incisions around the nipple or an anchor incision that circles the nipple and extends down the breast and along the breast crease. Fat and glandular tissue is then removed, while excess skin is tightened to produce a smaller, natural-looking breast. In some cases, the nipple and areola may need to be removed and then repositioned higher on the breast.
The results of a breast reduction are visible right away and will continue to improve as swelling and bruising subside. Scars will continue to fade over time, becoming less and less noticeable.
Breast reconstruction restores a natural, symmetrical appearance to the bosom, maintains body proportion, allows clothes to fit better, and most important of all, boosts self-confidence for women who have lost one or both breasts to mastectomy or who lack breasts due to a congenital or developmental abnormality.
Reconstructive surgeons strive to create a new breast and nipple that resemble the woman’s natural breast as closely as possible in shape, size and position.
Women whose cancer seems to have been eradicated with mastectomy are the best candidates for breast reconstruction. Those with health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure and those who smoke are advised to wait. Others prefer to postpone surgery as they come to terms with having cancer, consider the extent of the procedure, or explore alternatives.
The reconstruction itself consists of multiple operations, the first of which involves creation of the breast mound and is performed during or after mastectomy in a hospital under general anesthesia. Later surgeries, if necessary, may be done in the hospital or an outpatient facility, with either general or local anesthesia.
There are several ways to reconstruct the breast, both with and without implants; Dr. Gayle will work together with you in deciding which is best for you.
Male Breast Reconstruction
Gynecomastia is a common condition that affects nearly half of all men, resulting in localized fat and/or glandular tissue in the breasts. For most cases of gynecomastia, the cause is unknown, but this condition may be linked to certain medications or diseases. Many men are embarrassed by this condition and seek treatment to achieve a smooth, contoured chest through male breast reduction.
Male breast reduction may be performed using liposuction, surgery or a combination of the two, depending on the amount and type of tissue found in the breasts. If the breasts consist of mostly fatty tissue, liposuction may be used to suction out fat from an incision in the nipple or underarm areas. For breasts with an excessive amount of glandular tissue, excision surgery may be performed, which requires cutting away the excess fat, skin and tissue through a larger incision. Dr. Gayle will determine which technique is best for you based on your individual goals for surgery.